By Kay Cozad
FORT WAYNE — Natalie Kohrman stepped into the director’s role in the diocesan Office of Spiritual Development and Evangelization on Jan. 4. She succeeds former director Ginny Kohrman. The Office of Spiritual Development and Evangelization provides parish-oriented programs of personal renewal and evangelization for parishioners of all ages.
Natalie Kohrman brings a strong sense of spiritual development with her from her work as religious education coordinator for preschool and kindergarten students and subsequently director of religious education (DRE) at Our Lady of Good Hope Parish in Fort Wayne.
“In working with the children … I saw kids with a hunger for the faith. But some of the parents would say they didn’t feel qualified to help their children with their faith,” she reports.
Her draw to apply for the position of office director was the need to provide spiritual development opportunities for “parents and the church at large — for the kids,” says Korhman. “If they don’t have it (faith) themselves, they couldn’t give it away.”
The office’s mission, she says, is to help parents with their own faith, “so when kids come home, they can try it.” She is excited about the parish missions that are already offered as well as the women’s spiritual development opportunities and the ideas for opportunities for men.
“I do know that the women (of the diocese) have responded well to the Women’s Day of Prayer, conferences and retreats. And men are hungry for it too. We will work to see what fits men best,” she says.
Kohrman, who holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s in social work, is a convert to Catholicism. She came into the faith in 2002 after she and her husband Steve had their first child. They are both active members of Our Lady of Good Hope, involved in RCIA, LifeTeen and marriage preparation. Kohrman completed the diocesan Education for Ministry course in 2005.
Kohrman and her husband have five children, from ages eight to six months and own their own business. When the position became available, Kohrman spoke with her husband, who she says was very supportive.
“I want everyone to know how wonderful my husband is. He feels very strongly about this and has rearranged his schedule for me to do this,” says Kohrman, adding, “I prayed about it and God said ‘Trust me, it’ll work out.’”
While she has regular office hours, Kohrman is looking forward to being out in the parishes, “seeing what they need and want, and serving as a resource.”
“We must engage people where they are. I think that’s the hardest thing — parishes have people at various spots on the (faith) path. We have to find ways to reach as many as possible without ignoring anyone,” Kohrman says, adding that she looks forward to working collaboratively with not only the other diocesan offices but the new Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades in meeting the needs of the faithful of the diocese.
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